Knitting Technology

What kind of person comes to mind when you think of a knitter?  And what when you think of a programmer?

Whether we want it or not, both the domains of technology and of textiles are heavily gendered. Whereas knitting is strongly linked to femininity and pastime at home, computer technology is often immediately imagined as men’s work.

Yet, knitting and computing have more in common than you might expect.

In collaboration with Oddstream, centre for art and technology in Nijmegen, designer Michelle Vossen and I created a workshop-lecture about this theme. It builds on an interest in craftivism and data visualisation through crafts that I developed during the lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.

On 21 April 2022, we will critically question existing stereotypes about knitting and computer technology. In the opening lecture, I unravel how the two domains share a remarkable history, and how feminist artists recently started to combine knitting and technology to challenge assumptions, gender bias, and to develop new ways of activism. The rest of the evening, in the workshop, Michelle invites participants to explore the commonalities between fiber arts and computers by coding punch cards, working with knitting machines, and creating their own knitted electronic circuits.

Project in collaboration with Oddstream and Michelle Vossen
Image by Michelle Vossen